HC Deb 17 March 1904 vol 131 cc1417-65

"That a number of Land Forces, not exceeding 227,000, all ranks, be maintained for the Service of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland at Home and Abroad, excluding His Majesty's Indian Possessions, during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1905."

Resolution read a second time.

MR. COURTENAY WARNER (Staffordshire, Lichfield)

said that they had discussed the Army Estimates in Committee under somewhat difficult circumstances; but at any rate they had tried to enforce on the Government that there must be a considerable reduction in the expenditure on the Army in the near future. That reduction might be secured by the abolition of the linked battalion system and the abominable Army Corps scheme—leaving the defence of the country more to the Auxiliary Forces. He was willing to take any pledge from the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for War that he would reduce the number of men during the current year. He hoped that the new system about to be introduced at the War Office would include economy as well as efficiency. To a certain extent the recommendations of the Reconstitution Committee had been accepted by the Secretary of State for War as representing the Government; but on all the points accepted there was not any sign of economy, which was an absolute necessity, as was patent to everybody. It was a self-evident fact that we could not go on spending the enormous sums we now were. He knew that the Secretary of State for War agreed on this point with the Army reformers with whom he had worked so long and whose opinions he still shared, that the linked battalion system and the Army Corps should be done away with, so as to get a cheaper as well as a more efficient Army than we had at the present moment. No doubt the right hon. Gentleman had great difficulty in actually carrying out his ideas in consequence of the opposition of some Gentlemen who sat on the same Bench with him; but what was wanted was a pledge from the right hon. Gentleman that he would get the upper hand in this controversy and that he would do his best to carry out economic reforms. He did not wish to press any such largo reduction as he had put down on the Paper; and would be content with a reduction of 5,000 men. Not only was the good of the country at stake in this economy, but the interests of the Army itself and its popularity. He knew that some reduction had already been made on the present Estimates, but in his opinion these were not as large as they might have been, and something more should be done in the interests of economy. Moreover, that reduction was not real; because expenditure would speedily jump up by leaps and bounds in consequence of the necessary alterations in the armament of the Artillery. He moved the reduction of the number of men by 5,000.

Amendment proposed— To leave out 227,000, and insert 222,000, instead thereof."—(Mr. Courtenay Warner.)

Question proposed—"That 227,000 stand part of the said Resolution."

*MR. PEEL (Manchester, S.)

said he did not propose to follow the particular line of reasoning on which the hon. Member for the Lichfield Division had embarked. He rather desired to draw attention to the more general question and elicit from from the Secretary of State for War a definite statement as to the attitude the Government were going to take up in regard to the scheme drawn up by the War Office Reconstitution Committee.


said it would not be in order for the hon. Member to deal with that question now. The only question before the House was the question of men.

*SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

submitted on a point of order that some portions of the Report bore so closely on the number of men that it could hardly be excluded.


said if the hon. Member dealt with the number of men he would be in order, but what he proposed to do was to call on the Government for a general statement of the attitude they intended to take up.


pointed out that one of the particular parts of the Report which bore closely on the number of men was that which stated that the linked battalion system must be got rid of.


On that point I will not stop the hon. Member.


said the question of the linked battalion system bore a very close relation to the question before the House, and the question was also, as he conceived, connected with the question of the reorganisation of the Army, because it bore upon the composition of the Army Corps and the relation of the Army Corps to the War Office. There were, in fact, so many parts of the Report that definitely related to the Vote before the House that there would be no difficulty in keeping within the terms of Mr. Speaker's ruling. When this subject was discussed before on Vote A some statements were made by the Secretary of State for War, who, amongst other things, told the House that with the Report of the Committee he had the greatest sympathy and that, although he could not pledge himself to any particular line of action, that portion of the Report had his entire sympathy, and he hoped the recommendations would be adopted en bloc. Circumstances had happened since then which had made those deeply interested in this matter very anxious, and he pressed the right hon. Gentleman to state what had been done and what he was doing in respect of this question. It would be a great thing for the House if the right hon. Gentleman could allay the natural anxiety which was being felt by the House as to the degree of energy which the Government were putting into this portion of the Report, by stating what had been done already and what it was intended to do in the future to carry out these recommendations. The Report which had been drawn up had received the support of a consensus of the best military opinion. It was an open secret that the general provisions and principles laid down in that Report embodied not only the best military opinion, but also the best civilian opinion, on this subject, which in many respects brought a rather wider criticism to bear on these military questions. Nobody suggested that any blame rested on the Government because they were asked to modify their previous scheme. All that was asked was whether in the face of the knowledge acquired through the War Office Commission the Government were going to modify their scheme. All the suggestions made by the Commission were intended to hang together, and the Government had shown their earnestness in the reforms by creating the Army Council, and abolishing the office of Commander-in-Chief, but if, having gone so far, the Government were going to turn away from the other recommendations, then the whole thing fell to the ground. The scheme was a coherent scheme and intended to hang together, and it was impossible if it was intended to be of any benefit to the Army that some portion of the scheme should be picked out, without other portions of it being applied. The country appreciated the fact that there was great necessity for a drastic change in the Army schemes of Army reorganisation, and, from the point of view of the Government and the Party, he could imagine nothing that would have a worse effect than that an idea should get abroad that the Government, having accepted one portion of the scheme, should falter and show some trepidation and some tendency to turn their backs on the rest of the scheme, which it was absolutely necessary to carry out as a whole if it were to benefit our Army. There was a large body of opinion, both in and outside the House, which was determined to thrust, as far as possible, on the Government the principle of this scheme. That body of opinion was not confined to one section of the House alone. Various sections had united to press this demand on the Government. All that body of opinion was centred on the adoption of the recommendations of this Report, and if the right hon. Gentleman, who had been very kindly dealt with on the presentation because of the feeling that the right hon. Gentleman himself was fully in favour of the Estimates, was pressed now it was because of the feeling that the right hon. Gentleman himself was fully in favour of these reforms. He wished if possible to strengthen the hands of the right hon. Gentleman in the Government, in order that he might be able to do what he thought right. He trusted that the right hon. Gentleman would state clearly and explicitly what had been done since they last discussed this subject, and what definite hopes he could hold out to them for the future that he was going to lay broad and strong the foundations of reform in the Army on the principles set forth so clearly in the Report.

*COLONEL BLUNDELL (Lancashire, Ince)

said all were agreed that the country ought to be properly insured for defence. If it was necessary to keep 75,000 men in India then a like number of men must be retained in this country to maintain them. These men must be grouped in Battalions or in Depots. His own belief was that the present system of Battalions was the cheapest by which a force could be maintained abroad, and a sufficient Regular force maintained at home. The Militia, was the stand-by of the country; but if it were to be equal to a foreign army it would cost more than the troops in England at present. His opinion was that the Militia and Volunteers were the great potential Reserve of the country; and that the present system could not be much improved, except as to recruiting. It succeeded thoroughly during the South African war in sending out men and stores. He believed that the failures in the early part of that war were caused, as the Prime Minister stated, because they under-rated their enemy; but he did not agree with his right hon. friend as to what precisely they did under-rate. It was not a question merely of underrating the Boers as armed civilians; it was that this country did not appreciate the extraordinary effect produced by the rifle with its magazine and smokeless power, which led one to believe that there were twenty men where there was only one and enabled the man who fired not to be seen, and to the mobility the Boers derived from their ponies which enabled them to anticipate turning movements. When the British troops got out to a country of long horizons they found themselves exposed to a new phase of war; That was the origin of the failures in the early part of the war; and the House might depend on it that history would yet show that the sweeping condemnation of the Army in this country was a mistake. The same thing had happened before. In 1866 the Austrians did not appreciate the effect of the breech-loader in war, and the result was that they were wiped out in seven weeks. Yet, as allies of Russia, they had seen the weapon in 1864. The only country in which that effect was appreciated was England. Without depreciating the effects which had been produced by the late war, he hoped that the lessons learned would be applied to the Navy as well as to the Army. When a fleet possessed some chemical or mechanical appliance which its adversary had not it might be in a position of great superiority. They ought to be most careful in watching the Fleet in order that it might be free from the difficulties which confronted the Army at the beginning of the late war. He would sincerely and respectfully urge on the Government not to commit themselves to any change in the strength of the Regular Forces without very careful consideration.


said that the hon. Member for South Manchester began his speech by stating that the War Office scheme was one and indivisible and he concluded by pointing out to the Secretary of State for War that his Party was sub-divided into at least three sections on the subject. The hon. Gentleman who had just spoken devoted his remarks to showing that the hon. Member for South Manchester was entirely wrong. It was not for him to reconcile such divergent opinions or to bring them together. But it was a noticeable sign of the times that the Government were reduced to threatening to drive the Secretary of State for War out of political existence, if he was not prepared to accept unconditionally the Report of the Reconstitution Committee. The Secretary of State for War, speaking in the City on the preceding day, said that he had to speak for seven days in the House of Commons, with the result that he was only able to devote two hours to his office work. He did not know whether the right hon. Gentleman intended that as a remonstrance against the principle of discussing the Estimates, but it was clear that all the office work for eight or ten months led up to the discussion in this House, and the more complete that discussion was, the more satisfactory it should be to the Secretary of State. He entirely deprecated the position taken up by the right hon. Gentleman. The Army Estimates now amounted to £30,000,000 sterling, and they ought to be overhauled every few years from top to bottom and ransacked in order to see where economies could be effected. There was a third part to the Report of the Reconstitution Committee. It had been printed and was in the possession of the Secretary of State for War and other War Office officials. That part was germane, almost vital, to the discussion of the whole scheme, and the House of Commons should be given an opportunity of discussing it. It was quite improper to hang up such an important part of the Report and not submit it to the House of Commons, whose financial sanction was necessary for the carrying out of the whole scheme. The Secretary for State said that so unscientific and inadequate had been the system, that, if the Defence Committee sat day in and day out for six months, it would not be able to make up the leeway. But to what was that leeway due? The Party opposite had been in power for ten years, and during that period one scheme after another was thrown at their heads. The right hon. Gentleman and his predecessors in office were responsible for the affairs of the War Office.


That hardly bears on the question of the number of men. The administration of the War Office will arise on another Vote.


said he would not pursue the theme any further. He would take up the point laid down by the right hon. Gentleman that they had never considered whether the Army as now constituted was competent to do the work the nation required of it. That affected the number of men. The hon. Gentleman moved the reduction of the Vote by 5,000 men. Had he moved to reduce it by 10,000 men he would still have been justified, and if that Motion were carried greater economy would ensue and the Army would be equally efficient. As to Reserves, there were on the Vote 70,000, or nominally about 10,000 less than before the war, but in reality the number was much smaller. The large Militia Reserve which existed before the war, but which had now entirely disappeared, made the total Reserves, not 80,000, but 115,000, so that the Reserves, the cheapest and most efficient part of the Home Army, had dwindled by about 45,000 men. Under the scheme of the late Secretary of State the Reserves were to have been increased and with the continuance of the three years' service the number would eventually have been obtained and that would have made up for the disappearance of the Militia Reserve. But the short service system was to be discontinued, and the Reserves would drop again to about 70,000. The right hon. Gentleman held the theory that the Reserves could never be put into the first fighting line.


was understood to say that he had never made so positive a statement as that.


said the theory of the Continental armies was that when the troops were mobilised the recruits who had had only nine or twelve months service should be left at the depot, their place being taken by the older soldiers who had been called up from the Reserve. He understood the Secretary of State's view to be that the Reserve was an addition to the existing battalions of the line and not a substitute for the younger trained soldiers of the line battalions. That was a very important distinction, and one upon which the composition of the Army at the outbreak of hostilities would largely depend. The House was entitled to a clear and definite statement of the official views of the Government as to the future composition of the Reserve. In South Africa the Reserve, though looked upon at first with suspicion, proved to be the backbone of the force as long as it lasted, but the Artillery and Cavalry Reserve gave out very early in the campaign. The most difficult forces to create were the Cavalry and Artillery, and he desired to know what steps were being taken to increase the Reserves of both those forces. His last point was with reference to the garrison battalions which, originally numbering eight, had been reduced to five, of which four were stationed in South Africa. These were exceedingly expensive battalions to maintain, costing about £20,000 per battalion more than any other Infantry, and requiring a great deal of transport in consequence of the short service. The provision of men available for these battalions had evidently not come up to the expectations of the War Office, and he desired to know whether these men, who came back to the colours comparatively late in life, and who were not fit for much else than garrison purposes, were to be continued as an integral part of the Army system. He hoped they were not, as the battalions were not only exceedingly difficult to recruit, but they passed no men to the Reserve.


said that as this Vote was the only one upon which any reduction could be effected it ought not to be allowed to pass until the House knew exactly where the Government stood. Moreover, if the present opportunity were allowed to pass without the intentions of the Government being ascertained, it would be impossible to do anything in the matter for another year. Since this Vote was discussed last year there had been an increase in certain troops to which he could not do more than allude, because although they were in relief of this Vote they were paid out of Civil Service Estimates. There were 21,000 troops apart from the military police maintained at a cost of £2,250,000 a year, who were not under the control of he War Office at all, but whose services used to be performed by troops charged on this Vote. Therefore these 21,000 troops had to be added to the numbers on the Vote under discussion and their cost to the money on the next Vote to ascertain the actual expenditure on the Army at home. Altogether it would be found that the Army cost a much larger sum than the Fleet. The Indian Army was an essential part of the Army, and if the Naval, Indian, and Colonial expenditure were added to the expenditure under this Vote, and to the military expenditure on the Civil Service Estimates, the total would amount to the gigantic sum of £97,000,000 for the coming year, including the Military Works expenditure for the present and not for the coming financial year, the amount of which was not yet known. The land forces of the Crown were infinitely more costly than the naval forces, and this was the only Vote on which a reduction could be discussed or any prospect obtained, even for next year, of a substantial reduction of military expenditure. The Government were in a most peculiar position on this question. It was not the slightest use barking or growling at the Secretary of State; he was the wrong man; it was the Government as a Government who were pledged on this question, and they were committed in the most extraordinary fashion. In 1901 they proposed, and after debate carried, a Resolution in favour of the existing military system of which they were now understood entirely to disapprove; they had, in fact, come round to the views of those who criticised and voted against that Resolution. And yet the men the House was now asked to vote were the men required for that condemned system. The Resolution carried in 1901 was as follows— That it is expedient that six Army Corps be organised in the United Kingdom with the requisite staff and buildings. He could not on this Vote discuss the question of the buildings. It was understood that the Secretary of State approved of the War Office Report in which the Army Corps system was condemned, and a new system substituted, but the House had not yet been able to obtain from the Government a clear and definite statement of their position on: the matter. Without going in detail into what had been said on previous occasions, the situation was this: — The late Secretary for War laid the six Army Corps scheme before the House and stated that it had the approval of the Commander-in-Chief. At the time he ventured to express the opinion that it was not Lord Roberts' scheme, but that it was the scheme of the then Secretary of State for War. They now knew that that statement was quite true, for they had seen by the evidence given before the War Commission by Lord Roberts that he only gave his assent to a scheme which he had not seen in detail. They knew now that it was the scheme of the Secretary of State for India. That scheme had since been condemned and a new one had been "assumed," under which it was stated they would be able to reduce the number of men. The Committee said that they "assumed" that the linked battalion system would disappear and the result would be a large reduction on this Vote. The Secretary of State for War had stated that he would make an announcement during the session, and added that he had not changed his view. Undoubtedly they saw a change in the attitude of the Government, but from past experience they had reason to be profoundly suspicious, and they had had no further explanation except from the Secretary of State for War as to the precise attitude the Government were going to take up. He implored the House not to part with this Vote until they had received something like a definite pledge from the Government that they really meant to reduce the number of troops in the Army at home. Last year it was the opinion of the Government that the Army Corps system was expedient, but it was the opinion of the Government now that it was not expedient. Only the Secretary of State for War appeared to have got a definite view upon this question, and Lord Lansdowne maintained the opposite view. Surely they ought not to part with this Vote until they had something more definite than the pledges made by the Secretary of State for War, who did not sufficiently represent the collective opinion of the Cabinet.

CAPTAIN JESSEL (St. Pancras, S.)

said the speeches which had been made showed that there was a good deal of divergence of opinion upon this question on the other side of the House. Only the other day the Leader of the Opposition expressed an entirely different view upon this question to that held by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Berwick. On this point there seemed to be no unanimity at all amongst hon. Gentlemen opposite. There was very considerable feeling that the Report of the Committee should be carried into effect almost in its entirety, and the Service Members had approved generally of the Committee's Report. When they remembered that the Service Members represented a considerable section of opinion on both sides of the House, he did not chink am explanation was necessary from the Secretary of State for War as to what the views of the Government were. He thought some notice should be taken of what had transpired during the debate. On the 10th of March the Secretary of State for War rather complained of the tone of the debate, for he said hon. Members had been discussing tailoring, bottled stout, buttons, and things of that kind, and when the Leader of the Opposition found fault with him for saying that, the right hon. Gentleman said he meant that when the Speaker was in the Chair the debate should be conducted on a higher level, because the Committee stage was the proper place to discuss such questions as buttons and bottled stout. Unfortunately the result was that they never got any information about those details at all. He wished to know if the War Office had considered the advisability of getting a large supply of recruits from the Colonies and other parts of the British Empire. The right hon. Baronet opposite had referred to troops which were not upon this Vote, but he understood that they were coloured troops. He had always tried to impress upon the War Office the necessity of trying to induce more men to enlist from Canada and Australia and the rest of our colonies, and he thought they ought to give them greater facilities for enlistment. Some time ago at Malta an effort was made to get the services of the Maltese who formed the Garrison Artillery in order to send them out to India. During the war the garrison battery of Maltese Artillery was sent to Egypt and did very good service there. He thought greater efforts might be made in this direction, for the Inspector General's Recruiting Report was not very satisfactory reading, and if better opportunities were given to the Colonies he thought they would get more recruits. He thought the pay was sure to be increased. It was a fact that on some foreign stations the pay was more than it was at home. Then there was the question of the impossibility of gelling copies of the authorised regulations and book. He understood that the Cavalry regulations had been out of print two years and it was also impossible to obtain a copy of the Service Manual. The Manual of Military Law and other books were out of date and could not be got. He did not wish to go through the whole list of them, but he thought something ought to be done to supply the necessary books and he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would give this matter his attention. Then there was the question of the drill grounds for the men.


Order, order! The drill grounds are provided for under another Vote.


said he also wished to refer to the supply of Cavalry drafts for India and he wished to know how that was being managed. He wished to know if recruits for the Cavalry were being enlisted in any numbers for particular regiments. There had been considerable dissatisfaction because the pledges which had been given some years ago in this respect had not been fulfilled. They were told some time ago that a certain number of men would be allowed to be enlisted permanently in a particular regiment. It was easily to be understood that it would be impossible to allow too many men to enlist for a particular regiment; a promise was given that only a limited number of men should at any time be transferred. He noticed that the other day a lot of men were transferred. The whole system wanted looking into and he wished to know how far the pledge given some time ago by the Secretary of State for War had been fulfilled.

*MAJOR EVANS GORDON (Tower Hamlets, Stepney)

said that he, in common with some of his hon. friends, had some difficulty with regard to this Note of men. It was impossible to vote for the men conscientiously without knowing under which system, the old or the new, they were going to be employed. They were giving the Government a blank cheque for these Estimates. Ho and his hon. friends did so willingly on the understanding that the system which they had opposed was to be radically changed, and particularly, they all hoped and believed that the Army Corps scheme was gone. If that was not so, then, of course, they were being beguiled into giving a Vote on these Estimates on an understanding which did not really exist. When he spoke on the question of the reforms the other night he said that he thought they were on the eve of being granted, and that the least those who had advocated Army reform could do under these circumstances was to give the Government all the encouragement and support they could in completing these changes which had been foreshadowed in the Report of the Committee. He was not so confident now as he was then. Several things had happened in the meantime. The Prime Minister had spoken on the subject, and what he said had caused an amount of misgiving in his own mind, and in the minds of a good many of his friends. The right hon. Gentleman said the Government was not bound by the second part of the Report of the Committee either in whole or in part, and further that he did not agree with or associate himself with some of the criticisms which had been made. That statement might mean much or little. It might mean a general renunciation on the part of the Government as concerned any reform or any Committee, or it might mean that the Government differed from the Committee's Report on certain details, or it might mean that they differed with some of the principles which had been laid down by that Committee. He could quite understand that the Government would hesitate to commit themselves straight off the reel to the whole of the details of these great reforms, but that was a very different thing from differing from the broad principles which had been laid down. He should think that the country, and he was sure that this House and the Army, would be glad of a definite pronouncement on this question here and now if possible. The prompt action which was taken with regard to Part I. of the Report met with the general approval of the whole country. But there had been delay, or, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Forest of Dean had said, there had been a change in the attitude of the Government on these Reports. That delay was causing confusion and giving rise to all kinds of remarks and suspicions which, to say the least of it, were extremely unfortunate. Rumours had been heard —and they had appeared in the Press— of Cabinet dissensions on this subject, and it was understood that there was a struggle going on over the dismembered bones of the skeleton Army Corps. These rumours might have a certain basis in fact, as the Army Corps themselves had, but at the same time he thought that the quicker they were set at rest the better it would be for the House, the Army, and the country at large. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Forest of Dean said a day or two ago that those Members of the House who had made so strong an attack on the Army Corps system would, if that system was continued, be bound to continue the fight. He agreed, and he was quite sure that a great many hon. friends on the Government side of the House agreed with the right hon. Gentleman. Their criticisms of the system were derided at the time they were made, but they had been confirmed in the most unmistakeable manner by every authority who had spoken on the subject since, and by all the information and evidence collected on the subject. If their case was strong then, he did not think it was less strong now, and he wished to make it perfectly clear that they would oppose that system now as they opposed it then.

What they wanted to know was whether this Army Corps system held the field or not. If it did hold the field, then in his judgment the road to progress and to reform was very seriously obstructed, and he thought a great many other Members would do their very best to remove that obstruction out of the path. Their votes, therefore, on this subject ought to be profoundly modified by what was going to be done in regard to the six Army Corps scheme and the Report of the Committee generally. The opportunities for expressing their opinions on the subject were fast passing away, but before they were altogether gone he should like to know what the policy of the Government was in order that he might take the action that seemed to him best to put the six Army Corps finally out of their pain. They had believed the scheme, rightly or wrongly, to be dead and buried, and any attempt to exhume that corpse would be violently resisted on those Benches. He could not believe that the Government, having taken the great plunge on Part I. of the Committee's Report of reconstituting the whole system of the War Office, would hesitate long in taking a second plunge with regard to Part II. Any attempt to patch up a system with bits of the old system and bits of a new would be quite fatal. The now scheme hung together as a whole on broad principles, and as such he believed it would be adopted. In the Secretary of State for War they had an ardent and earnest Army reformer, and their desire was not to hamper him in any way. They desired that he should 'nave a fair field and no favour in dealing with the great question of Army reform. The right hon. Gentle man had advantages which his predecessor did not possess. He did not wish to cast any personal blame on the present Secretary of State for India. They would willingly draw a veil over the scheme which he brought forward. What had since transpired —the evidence collected by the Royal Commission on the War, the very strong Reports that had been formulated since, and the policy which had only lately been laid down by the Defence Committee of the Cabinet with regard to the defences of this country—had profoundly affected the entire question, and therefore it was open to all hon. Members, oven to those who were committed to the six Army Corps up the hilt, to retreat from that position now in the light which they at present possessed. He hoped that before the debate ended the Secretary of State for War or the Prime Minister would be able to tell the House as clearly as possible what the attitude of the Government was with regard to Part II. of the Committee's Report, because on that attitude their votes to-day and in the future on these Estimates to, a very large extent, would depend.

SIR ROBERT REID (Dumfries Burghs)

said he was not going to deal with the technical questions which had been referred to. It would be presumptuous of him to speak in the presence of experts on those matters. He wanted to say a word upon economy, which was common ground for all civilians and military men. There was not the least doubt among all Parties in this House that the combined Army and Navy Estimates bad reached a point the country could not afford to pay. It was only by additional taxation, which was already more than sufficiently high, that we should be able to continue bearing this burden, and he thought there should be some mitigation of it. With reference to men, he had looked up the Estimates to see where the increases had taken place. Comparing the Estimates for this year with those for 1895–6, he found that the total number of men on the home establishment in the earlier year was 116,000 as against 134,000 now. That was a substantial increase. The total number for the Colonies was 36,000 in 1895–6 as against 72,000 now. That was exactly double. These figures showed where the additional men were to be found. It was in reference to the Colonies mainly that the measure of the additional men might be taken. In the Paper showing the distribution of the men, some of the increases were very significant. He found that at Malta the men had increased from 9,400 in 1895–6 to 11,503 now. He supposed there were reasons for that in connection with policy. In the Bermudas the number had been doubled. In Mauritius the increase had been from 978 to 3.605. At Hong-Kong, including Wei-hai-Wei, the increase was from 3,435 to 7,793. They knew the cause of that. It was the escapade—he could call it nothing else—of the Government in connection with Port Arthur and Wei-hai-Wei. And lastly he found that in South Africa there had been an increase from 3,679 to 21,576. The consequence was that, roughly speaking, there had been an increase from £l8,000,000 to £29,000,000; and that increase fell on the people of this country. Now, there were two observations he wished to make on that point. First, it was due to politics. Ho did not wish to discuss now whether the course of the Government four or five years ago was right or wrong His opinion was as strong as ever it was. But these increases wore dependent on policy. It was perfectly certain that the measure of our increased activity in colonial and foreign affairs was to be found accurately recorded in these-Estimates. It was well that the people of this country should know that there was a heavy pecuniary sacrifice which came with the acquisition of tropical and semi-tropical territory. It had now become popular knowledge that the self-governing Colonies contributed very little to the Navy; but it had not been pointed out as clearly that, in addition to bearing practically the whole burden of the, Navy, the people of this country spent large sums of money without any assistance from the self-governing Colonies on military maintenance for the Crown Colonies of the British Empire, of which the self-governing Colonies enjoyed the advantage. Moreover, exceptional expenditure like that caused by the South African War fell wholly upon this country. These were things which made any reflecting man consider very gravely Estimates of this kind. Whether economy could be effected by some bettor understanding between ourselves and our self-governing Colonies, or whether it could lie done by adopting the Report which had been placed before the country, it was right that the Government should give the country relief from these enormous Estimates.


said there had been a difficulty in obtaining the cavalry training books owing to the fact that for some time past a new cavalry book had been under preparation, and the old book was out of print. The promise given sumo time ago by the representative of his Department in the House of Lords with regard to cavalry recruiting had been carried out. A certain number of men had been allowed to enlist in the regiment of their choice. But the attestation papers contained a reasonable provision that if an emergency arose the men might be transferred. That emergency did arise during the war. He was strongly of opinion that it was most undesirable to transfer men against their will except for some grave necessity. During the last few years they had tried several systems with regard to the Cavalry, and quite recently a further change was made which was necessary in the circumstances of the day, but which in itself was to his mind most undesirable. That was a change from tire plan of uniting three regiments of cavalry to linking regiments of cavalry in pairs. So long as that system continued grievances must arise, but he agreed that it was most desirable that the necessity should cease to exist. The hon. and learned Gentleman opposite and other hon. Members had spoken on the question of economy, He had said in the course of these debates that he sympathised with that view. He would go further and say that so entirely did he share that view that certainly he should be responsible for making no proposal to that House for the reorganization of the Army which would not convey the promise, of a very substantial reduction upon the Army Estimates. He hoped hon. Members would not press the association of numbers with cost. He thought the question of numbers was to be judged by an entirely different standard. The hon. and learned Gentleman had said that many of the increases in the past ten years, which he had quoted, wore due to policy. That was by no means the case with regard to several of the increases. Several of them were due to military considerations and to new military dangers which did not exist ten years ago. He was one of those who shared the opinion that the solution of these difficulties was to be found, not so much in the reduction of men, as in the reduction of men on the active list; that, if they could accumulate a larger Reserve and maintain a smaller force at home, they would have done nothing to weaken the defence of the Empire, but would have made it possible to effect real and substantial economy in the cost of our military establishment.

Some hon. Members had asked him questions about the Report of Lord Esher's Committee. He did not know that he could go much further than he had gone on previous occasions, and he thought the great bulk of opinion in the country would support him in the line he had taken. That line was that it was not an unreasonable thing to ask, before they pledged themselves to carry out the Report, that the Government should have an opportunity of examining it, and that they should not, as his hon. and gallant friend the Member for Stepney had expressed it, commit themselves verbatim et literatim to the details of the Report. He did not understand now what was the ground for the view that there had been any change of attitude on the part of the Government in regard to this matter. He ventured to think that the utterances had been perfectly consistent throughout; but he would like to point out, for the satisfaction of hon. Members who had expressed this view, that if they wanted a pledge of the bonâ fides of the Government in this matter he could give it to them. He had been asked about Part I. and Part II. of the Report. He should be very slow to say that he accepted all Part II. It was a very dangerous thing to accept anything without examination. He might inform hon. Members that in the first draft of the Report, as it reached him, there was a recommendation which was entirely altered in the second draft. The whole question of mobilisation was then assigned by the Committee to a totally different branch of the War Office from that to which it was now assigned. It was not unreasonable, therefore, that the Government should have the same opportunity of reconsideration as was afforded, obviously, to the members of the Committee. There was another reason why he did not desire to pledge himself at this stage entirely to the Report. There were portions of the Report which were not recommendations for action. There were what he might call the critical portions of the Report, and with one part of the Report he confessed he did not altogether associate himself. He believed that the criticisms of the civil branch of the War Office were unnecessary to the value of the Report, and to his mind they were, to say the least, exaggerated. He had the highest opinion of the Civil Service. He had been brought up under circumstances which had brought him into close contact with the Civil Service of the country for a longer period than most hon. Members had sat in that House, and during late years he had had a much more intimate acquaintance with Civil servants. That being so, he was very slow to commit himself to what he considered to be a too general censure of any branch of the Civil Service, and especially the particular members of the Civil Service who were, he thought, censured in a portion of this Report. He wished to put that fact on record, as he had already communicated his view to those whom it principally concerned. If he wore to say that he accepted verbatim et, literatim this Report, he would be committing himself, which he did not desire to do, to the acceptance of these censures. He had not the slightest doubt that in the financial branch of the War Office, as much as, possibly more, possibly less, than in other branches, there was need for change. He quite understood that. He intended to make those changes; but there was nothing in that to prevent him from entertaining the view he did as to the bonâ fides and the admirable services rendered by those who had hitherto discharged duties referred to.

Let him give the House some earnest that he was a believer in the genera value of this Report, and that he was desirous of carrying it out. They had appointed their Council. They had appointed their Inspector-General of the Forces. They had appointed their Directors, whose functions were all described in the second part of the Report, and he had already appointed a Committee to inquire into the whole question of the distribution of the forces. Hon. Members pressed him—and he was bound to say, in this matter, he thought unduly pressed him—to make a pronouncement which might he precisely satisfactory to them with regard to the Army Corps question. They knew that he attached no value to the particular name or organisation of the Army Corps. It was an organisation which had never been completed, but he honestly believed that some of his critics, who wore usually well informed on many subjects in regard to the Army, had greatly exaggerated the importance of this matter. He did not think some of his critics could tell him what was the real difference between the Army Corps system so called and the District Divisions which were not yet formed. They were voted for alike in the Estimates now before the House. When he went to the War Office the first inquiry he made was, what the difference represented in money; and really the sum was so small that, if they knew it, he did not think hon. Members would put this in the forefront of their objections. As he had stated, he had already appointed a strong Committee to inquire into the details of how they could best carry out the recommendations for the redistribution of the districts in this country made in the Report; but he was sure no hon. Member would desire him, speaking on behalf of the War Office, to pledge himself in regard to the result of that Committee's work until it was completed. It was purely a military question.


said he wished to ask if the right hon. Gentleman could say when the Committee was likely to report.


said that the Report had not been published a fortnight. He had already appointed a Committee, his Chief of Staff only entered upon his work at the beginning of this week, and he must really ask the hon. Member to give him a little time.


said he only asked when.


said he was not a member of the Committee and he could not tell the hon. Member. There was, however, no desire to delay the matter. He had already given effect to the recommendations with regard to the formation of a finance branch, and he had appointed two of the principal officers in that branch and was about to appoint the third. He was sure that that was exactly what the House desired him to do. It was quite impossible to carry out the recommendations of this Committee unless they created the initial machinery, and he had done that with regard to the Council, the Directors, the Inspector-General of the Forces, and now with regard to finance. They had also adopted another recommendation of the Committee. They had already decentralised the office of the Military Secretary. The office of the Military Secretary in the old form had ceased to exist. The Military Secretary now at the War Office had other and less important functions; and a vast amount of the work which formerly passed through the hands of the Military Secretary had, in accordance with the recommendations of the Report, been devolved, for the purpose of decentralisation, to officers in connection with the Army Corps districts or with the Army in the other parts of the United Kingdom not in the Army Corps districts. And, finally, he had commenced with his Army Council a serious and careful examination of the whole of the Report. He supposed there was no hon. Member who would suggest that a body such as the Army Council should pledge themselves to the vast amount of detail which was contained in the Report before they had even read it; and he thought he was doing what any prudent and sensible man charged with the administration of any great office would do, in taking the very first opportunity that had occurred of going through the whole of this Report as rapidly as they could—not with any idea of criticising it, not with any idea of neglecting or setting aside its recommendations, but with the idea of satisfying themselves, how far and in what way they could adopt the Report with the best advantage to the service. He did not know whether that was any earnest to his hon. friends of the Government's sincerity in this matter, but to him it seemed that they had gone the full length that wise, prudent, and sensible men would go.

The hon. and learned Member opposite had spoken of the question of colonial contributions. He thought the hon. and learned Member was right, and that the feeling of this country was growing, and would grow, in the direction he indicated. He believed that, unless there was some greater willingness on the part of the Colonies to share these great burdens, there would be a closer and closer examination by the people of this country of the wisdom of the policy which compelled them always to bear the lion's share. He did not think it was the case that any action that House or the Government might take was likely to change the situation materially. He believed it could only be by the slow growth of public opinion in the Colonies, which might perhapstend in the direction of showing that they had dangers, and that those who had dangers must take their share in guarding against them. Or it might be—he should not be surprised if they had to recognise it—the growth of public opinion in this country, in the direction of giving expression to the view that we could not for all time carry this burden on our shoulders. The hon. and learned Member suggested that something the Government could do would bring this better state of things about. He was not quite sure that he was right there. If he thought so, he should gladly avail himself of any suggestion which would show how it might be done. He did think, however, that the influence of members of the Government as a whole, of individual Members of the House, might very well be exercised in making this matter clear to the Colonies, but he was not clear that any Executive action on their part was at all likely to bring a satisfactory solution to this very difficult problem. He had said all that any Minister could say who had to undertake such a difficult piece of work as that which was imposed upon him, and he hoped that hon. Members would extend their confidence to him. Further he frankly could not go.

MR. BLACK (Banffshire)

said he had just listened to the declaration of policy by the Secretary of State for War with considerable astonishment. The right hon. Gentleman had told them that with regard to the Army Corps question he attached no value to name or organisation. The Prime Minister, speaking in March, 1901, made a very different statement. That right hon. Gentleman told them that the essence of the scheme then put forward was that the Army Corps with which they had to deal should be Army Corps in reality as well as in name, with a proper complement of general officers and staff; a proper complement of cavalry, 'of artillery and of military units. Two months later the First Lord again referred to the scheme and emphasised the necessity of organising the Army. He (Mr. Black) ventured to ask the right hon. Gentleman opposite was the policy of 1901 still the policy of the Government notwithstanding what the present Secretary of State for War had just stated, or were they to have two voices, not only as regarded different Ministers but of the same Minister acting in different capacities? He really thought the House was entitled to some distinct declaration of the Government. Was it the statement of the Secretary of State for War, who attached no value to the name or organisation of the Army Corps, or the absolutely opposite statement of the Prime Minister which they were to accept? He desired to associate himself with the remarks of the hon. Member for Dumfries both with regard to the number of men and the cost of the Army, and he was not sure that this was a matter with which the Government could not deal. The Secretary of State for War had told them that no action on the part of the Government could possibly influence this question, but what did they find with regard to the distribution of troops abroad. During the last ten years there had been the enormous increase of £10,000,000 sterling. He ventured to submit that the distribution of our troops in various parts of t he world was worse than useless, and was by no means a source of help to the Empire. Taking South Africa, for instance, with its garrison of 21,000 men, if we were able to give self-government to that country we could reduce that number to the 3,000 men we had there in 1894–5. That question of retaining the larger number of men was a question of policy and was dependent upon the present Government, but he ventured to submit that the small bodies of troops that we had in other parts of the world were absolutely useless and were a danger instead of a help to the maintenance of this Empire. Let the House observe the distribution. He would not deal with India, and the number of men in South. Africa was admittedly a matter of policy, but if the Government could give those Colonies self-government that garrison would be able to be cut down to 3,000 men. But in Bermuda there were 3,100 men: in Halifax, 1,780; in Jamaica, 1,750; in Barbados, 1,550; in St. Helena, 500; in Mauritius. 3,600; in Sierra Leone, 2,600; in Egypt, 5,600; in Hong-Kong, 7,800; in Straits Settlement, 2,700; in Ceylon, 1,800; in Gibraltar, 5,500; and in Malta, 11,500. Was it to be supposed that, if a hostile country, possessed of an army organisation, obtained command of the seas, these small bodies of men at the different garrisons (with the exception of Malta) would be of any possible use in repelling the invading forces. The question he ventured to submit, to the Government was whether it was worth while to maintain those scattered bodies all over the world for an absolutely useless object. Could anyone suggest that a good object would be obtained by such a policy? Taking the 72,000 men scattered all over the world at a cost of £200 per man they had a cost of £14,000,000, and when they added £6,000,000 for the cost of training men at home to take the place of those abroad under the linked battalion scheme, they had a total cost of £20,000,000 for this particular class. He desired to suggest the desirability of considering whether for £20,000,000 it was worth while our having 60,000 or 70,000 men scattered all over the globe.

Another matter to which he desired to call attention was one that pressed very heavily upon both branches of the service. It was the desirability of attracting to His Majesty's commission more representative men of the nation as a whole. One would, even at an increased cost, like to see the same class of men take a commission in the Army as entered the ranks of other professions. That could be done at a comparatively small cost. If £500,000 were added to the Estimate, that in itself would secure a fuller representation of the class of men which they wished to see accept His Majesty's commission. A great many more suitable men would join but for the drawback that it was not a profession which men could embrace without having supplementary means. The time had arrived when all officers, especially those of the lower grade, should have their pay so supplemented that a man entering the Army, and gaining a commission, would be self-supporting, as he would be in ether professions. In conclusion, he urged the Government to give them a more distinct statement upon these matters than they had yet had from any Member on the Ministerial Bench, and he asked the present Secretary of State for India to favour them with his views before the debate came to a conclusion.


said he could not help feeling a little disappointed with the speech of the Secretary for War, on account of the very scant matter which it contained. No one wanted to "hustle" the right hon. Gentleman or to compel him to commit himself to intricate proposals which he had not enjoyed an opportunity of properly examining. At the same time, the House should not go to sleep on the question of the Army. The House had devoted a great deal of time to the consideration of the question last year, and naturally was anxious that that labour should not be wasted. He thought his right hon. friend would admit that the conduct of Members on the Government side of the House had been extremely good during the seven days in which the Estimates had been discussed. No one had attempted to make Party capital out of the Commissioners' Report or to assail the Government for considerable errors in administration, though ample opportunities were provided in the Estimates, which had been presented to the House in such a muddle. In three successive years he had listened to a final and absolute reform and reorganisation of the Army. What was the position to-day? The number of men showed a reduction. Policy did not dictate this reduction; it was grim necessity. The number of men had been reduced because the men never existed; and the reduction in cost was very small and illusory. It was pretty well known that the cost of the Army was going to increase next year. The cost of the Army was bound to increase in the future, There was the increase of pay, the increased numbers in the Reserve, the increased expenditure on artillery—for the latter of which the right hon. Gentleman had graciously conceded to India the privilege of paving this year's instalment, but next year's would have to be paid by this country. Therefore, from the point of view of economy, the position of the Army was profoundly unsatisfactory. The cost was far greater than the taxpayers would stand, and he was confident that the House would not rest during the next live years until they had effected a reduction of at least £5,000,000 on the present normal cost.

Nobody would suggest that the War Office should accept off-hand all the intricate proposals contained in the Reconstitution Committee's Report. He would be sorry to undertake to support all those proposals himself, but he believed there was an overwhelming consensus of opinion that on the whole that Report would form a far better basis than the existing system for any future work in the direction of Army reform. After all, that Report had been brought before the House in a peculiar way. He suggested that the Secretary of State for War both saw and approved of the Report before it was issued to the public. Further, the Committee was appointed by the Prime Minister, who had closely associated himself with its proceedings, and he suggested that the Prime Minister also saw and approved of the general terms of the Report before it was published. He really did not think the Late Secretary of State ought to regard it as censuring him in particular, for in the scheme he proposed he had the support of the whole Cabinet, and the most particular and special support of the Prime Minister. If the Prime Minister was prepared to sanction a Report which reflected upon himself, surely the late Secretary of State for War had no cause to consider that he was affected by it. It would be unfair not to recognise the many substantial reforms, not only in the condition of the soldier but also in other matters of War Office administration which had been effected by the right hon. Gentleman. It was not so much of his Army administration as its cost that he had had to complain. At the beginning of his career at the War Office the right hon. Gentleman was induced to embark upon a scheme which demanded more men than the recruiting resources of the country could supply, and more money than it would be prudent or thrifty for this House to vote, but he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would not consider that in future debates they desired in any way to reflect upon him, or to censure him, personally, for a course of action in which he had the support of the entire Conservative Party. But this new Report appeared to be hanging fire. Everybody knew how keen the Secretary of State for War was on carrying out the Report, and he could not help thinking that the right hon. Gentleman, instead of giving such vague assurances, would much prefer to state definitely and frankly what he intended to do—and certainly the House would rather he made such a statement. They believed that the new proposals had been considered on their merits so far as the policy of their adoption by the Government was concerned. The details of their application might be relegated to another Committee.

The acceptance of the principle of the Report by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for War had been sealed by the dismissal of the high officers, whose removal from the War Office was considered an indispensable preliminary to carrying out the other recommendations. The House did not particularly want to know what internal alterations were to be made in the War Office, nor was it a matter of first-class importance how the duties of high officials were to be rearranged. Those wore doubtless intricate and important matters requiring much careful thought, upon which the House of Commons was incompetent to express an opinion, and which after all could be settled by the Army Councilor by the Secretary of State, sitting in his room, pen in hand. But there were other problems which could not be so settled, and it was about those that the House desired to be informed. Were the Government going to keep the same number of battalions in the future as in the past? At what strength were they going to be kept I How were the necessary recruits to be supplied? For what period of service were men to be enlisted? These were the matters on which the House required information. The Report contained a calm assumption that the linked battalion system was to be abandoned. How was it to be replaced? It could not be denied that if the same number of battalions were required at home as abroad, the best system was that which had hitherto obtained. But the same number was not required at home, and it was absurd to keep battalions which were not wanted. The altering of the positions of high officers was not Army reform. What the House wanted to know were the intentions of the Government with regard to the period of service, the conditions of enlistment, the rosters, and the methods by which battalions were moved about the British Empire. When was the debate on the new scheme to take place? Would the right hon Gentleman make, between Easter and Whitsuntide, his statement showing precisely the parts of the Report the Government intended to adopt and the parts they intended to ignore? Until information was given on these matters it was extremely difficult to know how to vote on this Resolution. It was idle to suppose that what had already been done and the vague assurances which had been given constituted any real, definite, or practical measure of Army reform, and he appealed to the Financial Secretary to make a much more definite statement than the House had yet heard.

MR. BUCHANAN (Perthshire, E.)

said he had heard the remarks made by the right hon. Gentleman about colonial contributions with some apprehension. He had always been opposed to the policy adopted of late years by which the Government of this country had gone cap in hand asking the Colonies to contribute towards the Navy. He did not think that was either good policy or good finance, because the amount of money they got from the Colonies was of no account and was not worth the, friction it caused. He should be very jealons of any similar policy being adopted by the heads of the military system of this country. Did the right hon. Gentleman want to get money or men out of the Colonies? In his opinion either of those policies would be a mistake. If the Colonies began contributing use would be made of their first contribution to press them for more, and at the same time they would have before them the fact that every 6d. of military expenditure upon the Army in India was borne by India. Even the sending of a distinguished soldier to Japan had been placed upon the finances of India. He hoped the Colonies would be slow to accede to any demands for either money or men for the Imperial Army. A self-governing colony should be absolutely responsible for the whole of its military defence. The Secretary for War appeared to be unusually susceptible when he was told that he had not absolutely said the same thing to-day as he had stated before. He did not desire to accentuate those differences, but he observed in the spirit in which the right hon. Gentleman approached this question a change, and he appeared to have adopted the very wise and prudent advice given by the Leader of the Opposition, when he pointed out the rapidity with which this Report had been put together by Lord Esher's Committee, and the rapidity with which the Government announced that they had accepted that Report. Now the right hon. Gentleman appealed to the House to give the War Office and the Government time to consider the very important reforms he was going to propose. He was sure the House was quite willing that the Secretary for War should have ample time to consider his proposal. The right hon. Gentleman had also taken the advice of the Leader of the Opposition in reference to repudiating the indiscriminate criticisms of the Report in regard to the Civil Departments of the War Office. This was a large branch of the Civil Service, and no one could read those statements without regretting their character, knowing the very small foundation on which they rested.

With regard to Part II. of the Report, the right hon. Gentleman had told them that the officers referred to had been appointed. They had been told that, in substance, the Government adopted the proposals of the Committee in regard to the finance of Part II., and that they had appointed the three principal officers recommended in that branch of the Report. They had also been told that the recommendation, in regard to the change in the functions discharged by the Military Secretary, had been adopted, but nothing had been said as to that branch of Part I., which they were informed had been adopted as a whole. The right hon. Gentleman did not say how far they had adopted the recommendations contained in Part I., with regard to giving a permanent staff and secretary to the Defence Committee in the future. They had in these Estimates a sum of £4,000 for an Imperial Defence Committee. As this was an important branch of Part I., he thought they ought to have some statement as to how far they intended to carry out the recommendations of Lord Esher's Committee by establishing what was a very dangerous official, viz., a permanent secretary to the Defence Committee, to hold office for five years and for subsequent terms of five years, whilst all his colleagues were to serve only for two years. This permanent secretary was to be constantly there to give advice to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for War. They had not had any assurance as to whether the Government proposed to adopt that important part of Part I. With regard to distribution, the right hon. Gentleman said he had appointed a Committee to reconsider this subject. They were going to have another Committee to consider this vexed question of the distribution of the British Army. He thought it would have been much better if the Secretary of State for War, when these Estimates came before the House, had made a clean breast of the intentions of the Government with regard to the Esher Committee's Report, so far as they bore upon these Estimates. If the right hon. Gentleman had taken the House into his confidence and stated that these Estimates would be subject to large alterations upon certain lines, in view of the recommendations of the Report, a good deal of discussion would have been spared. With regard to the character of the Estimates, they were unreal, and this Vote for men was not a true Vote, because they were asking for 10,000 men more than they were being asked to pay for. That was not treating the House in a constitutional manner. The right hon. Gentleman had told them frankly that he was asking for no money for those 10,000 men. That was not a right method to adopt in laying Estimates before the House of Commons. The Estimates now being asked for did not represent either the men or the money, or the individuals or officers who were to receive those salaries. They were not being asked for the right number or the right amount of money, and it was very likely that the money they were voting would be diverted to purposes which were not specified in the Estimates now before the House. That was outrageous procedure, and it ought to be resisted by every means in their power.

SIR CARNE RASCH (Essex, Chelmsford)

said that hon. Gentlemen opposite were a little difficult to please. The six Army Corps, as far as his limited intelligence would allow him to understand the Secretary of State for War, were practically abandoned.


Are they?


said the right hon. Gentleman would answer for himself. This year the Estimates were lower than last year, and yet hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway were not satisfied. They wanted a Commission to report; they got a Commission, and now they did not like the Report. The hon. Member for Stepney said they did not desire to hustle or hamper the Secretary of State for War, but, if that was so, they took a very peculiar way to show their feelings on the subject of Army reform. It seemed to him, reading between the lines of the speech of the Secretary of State for War two nights ago, and particularly of the speech he gave this afternoon, that he for one had given up the idea of the six Army Corps. That being so, he failed to see what good purpose would be served by hon. Members who, so to speak, were now setting up an "Aunt Sally" for the pleasure of knocking it down. He had a little sympathy with the Amendment of the hon. Member for the Lichfield division to reduce the number of men by 5,000. He did not think that, under certain circumstances, the hon. Member was far wrong. It was admitted that what we wanted in this country was a smaller and a cheaper Army, and the only way to bring that about was by decreasing the number with the colours and increasing the number in the Reserve. If we reduced the number with the colours we ought to be pretty sure that we had something behind them. He did not think that at the present moment we had. Until we got the Auxiliary Forces up to their strength he did not see how we could reduce the number with the colours by 5,000, or any other number. He should have liked to hear more detailed information as to the Auxiliary Forces in general and the Militia in particular. The right hon. Gentleman had deplored the state of the Militia. A force which was 40 per cent, below strength, and which had no guns, transport, and staff, was, as the right hon. Gentleman said a few years ago, nothing but a patent and recognised fraud. The Volunteers were also considerably reduced, and not in a very much better position than the Militia. The Secretary of State for War appeared to be satisfied with the Yeomanry. It was fashionable to put money on a particular horse which was popular in the country, it would be well, therefore, not to say too much about the Yeomanry. He thought the Report of the Inspector-General of Recruiting was of a most unsatisfactory and unfortunate character. He did not quite understand why it should be so. The proposal last year, to improve the conditions of men with the colours and to increase their pay was all very well, and when it was made he thought it was a long step in the right direction. But unfortunately it appeared, if he might so say, to have gone out at the touch-hole, for they had not got the men. They were increasing the pay, but men did not enlist. The recruits he had seen were very decidedly of an unsatisfactory character. They were told that of the number who offered themselves for enlistment, 49 per cent, were rejected on account of physique. They could not come up even to the miserable standard insisted upon by the War Office. How did the right hon. Gentleman propose to get his Indian reliefs. What Lord Wolseley said the other day was right so far as it went. He stated that we would not get the men required unless we paid them the average wages of the British artisan. But to do so would largely increase the expense of the Army, and until we cut down the number of men with the colours, he himself did not see how we could increase the pay. He suggested that with the view of getting a better class of men the pay should be increased, that more attention should be given to the question of dress, that the men should be better fed, and that provision should be made for their employment after they had served a certain number of years in the ranks. He thought the Secretary of State for War might now state definitely, once and for all, what he was going to do about the Army Corps.

MR. PRIESTLEY (Grantham)

said the prospect of a great Army scheme, which should be in the direction of greater economy, had been held out as a reason why Members should not exercise their votes in favour of economy. But as one who took the good of the service and the question of economy seriously into consideration, he had come to the conclusion that the only opportunity afforded Members of giving effect to their views was on occasions like the present, when they could vote in favour of reductions. Accordingly, he had not the slighest hesitation in supporting the reduction proposed. In fact, he did so with exceptional pleasure, because he thought the size of our Army should be reduced; and he hoped at the same time it would be associatad with greater efficiency.

MAJOR SEELY (Isle of Wight)

said the Secretary for War, in carrying out Army reform on right lines, would have his whole-hearted and warm support. The fact that the right hon. Gentleman was at the War Office was a guarantee that reform would he carried through; and that if it could not be done he would not occupy his office. There was also an additional guarantee that reform would be carried out by the presence of the hon. Member for the Macclesfield Division as Financial Secretary to the Department. He would not ask for any further pledges on this question, but he felt sure that if, after raising the hopes of the country to so high a pitch, the Government disappointed the country, the Government would fall. He for one would deeply regret to find the Government meeting with such a fate. The speech of the hon. Member for the Chelmsford Division was a striking illustration of the fact that the differences on that side of the House with regard to Army reform were not so great as might, appear, it seemed likely that the action the Secretary for War wished to take would meet with the general approval of Members of the House. It was necessary to see that the day of the paper Army was gone for ever. When they took credit for a man he must actually be there, and he must not be a boy. What was wanted was that the money should be well spent. They must not be young men and old guns, but new guns and old men. What was wanted was real decentralisation, so as to prevent what he had called attention to last year, the issue of an Order which caused the resignation of many Volunteers without its having been seen by any person responsible for it. He wanted a definite answer to the question whether, under the new scheme, the department of the Auxiliary Forces in the War Office would be an independent department—reporting direct to the Army Council, or whether it would be under the Adjutant-General as heretofore. The Secretary for War had said that he wished to take up the question of the Auxiliary Force; in a sympathetic spirit; but if so he must treat them in a different way from that in which they had been treated in the past. He knew that the right hon. Gentleman was determined to do that if he possibly could; and, if so, the right hon. Gentleman would have his most hearty support. He made no reservation of any kind, and had complete confidence in the Secretary for War.

MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

said he did not think sufficient attention had been paid to the very remarkable speech of the Secretary for War. Everybody must have been struck with the difference between the tone of that speech in regard to the Report of the War Office Reconstitution Committee, and that delivered a week or two ago. The Government were evidently flying a flag of distress in regard to the Report of that Committee, which had been put into operation in such hot haste, and the whole proceeding of the Government was, he contended, unconstitutional. The right hon. Gentleman had made three announcements. First, he said that he disagreed with much of the Report—and his tone in that respect was very emphatic. In the next place the right hon. Gentleman said that the Civil Department of the War Office had been treated very harshly in the Report. And in the third place, the right hon. Gentleman said that he would have to appoint a Committee either to translate the Report or assist him in carrying out the recommendations of the Committee. That showed that the Government was rapidly falling into the difficulty which had been anticipated on that side of the House, by their haste in considering the Report of this Committee. In what position were they in? They had only got Parts I. and II. of the Report. The third part was evidently in print, but had not yet been presented to the House. The whole Report should have been presented to the House, and time given for its consideration. The right hon. Gentleman and the Government seemed to have no consideration for the opinion of the House of Commons. Instead of that the House of Commons was treated to piecemeal sections of this Report. The Government had got no mandate for reorganising the Army, and yet they were proceeding to do so on a most complete basis. The Government seemed to him to be in the position of an old, hardened criminal, who was caught once more in the act, and who was hauled up before a Judge and jury. The judge said, "Have you anything to say before sentence is pronounced?" and the criminal replied, "I admit I am guilty; but I will reform and become a preacher and lecturer on the subject." The House did not want the assurances of the right hon. Gentleman as to the reorganisation of the Army, but the submission of the Report of this Reconstitution Committee, and full time to consider it before new Estimates were taken. The Secretary for War, of course, was in a great difficulty from the indecent haste of the Government. A complete statement ought to be made to the House by the Government as to what they were going to do in regard to the reduction of the number and cost of the Army.


said he desired to ask a Question. The eight major-generals seemed to have allocated to them, if he rightly understood the Report, a function entirely destructive of the financial control of the House and every other controlling body in the State.


said that a good deal of latitude was allowed in discussing the Report, but the hon. Gentleman was passing beyond the proper scope of the debate. The question before the House was purely a question of the administration of the Army.


said he hoped some sort of information would be vouchsafed as to the functions of the eight major-generals.


said that the questions which had been raised with regard to the number of the battalions which were to exist, and the period of service with the colours and with the Reserve were matters of detail, though he admitted their importance.


asked whether the hon. Gentleman thought he would be aide to make a statement before Whitsuntide as to the policy which should he adopted this session; or, if not, when he would be able to make it.


said he should most certainly say this session. He hoped the hon. Member would not press that too far. There was absolute y no desire to keep back from the House any information which the Government had and which could properly be given to the House in on order to delay the consideration of this very important Report. He submitted that these questions of the reorganisation of the Army could not be properly dealt with in the House until they had been dealt with and fully considered by the Army Council. When they had been so considered his right hon. friend would be in a position to make a statement upon the subject. He acknowledged the forbearance of hon. Members on both sides of the House, and especially of his hon. friends below the Gangway. Some of his hon. friends had voted for the reduction of the Army Estimates because they objected to the policy on which they were framed. He quite appreciated that, from his hon. friend's point of view, it might be possible to contend that the policy on which the Estimates wore framed was not a right policy. He would ask them, however, to have faith in the Government, and he would emphasise the fact that the presence of his right hon. friend at the War Office was a guarantee that the principles which his right hon. friend had put forward would receive full consideration. While not in a position to reply on questions of policy, he was concerned in obtaining the Vote without any unreasonable delay, and he would ask the House to proceed to a division after a discussion extending over seven days. The Estimates presented to the House were only sufficient to maintain the Army under existing conditions. Whether or not it might be possible to obtain more economic results in the future was a question which was engaging the hourly consideration of his right hon. friend They on that Bench were greatly encouraged by the action adopted by hon. Members on both sides of the House, with, perhaps, the one exception of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition. The right hon. Gentleman did not condemn the Report of the Esher Committee; he pulverised it and denounced it and all its works. He belittled the recommendations in the Report and said the Committee were endeavouring to create a new heaven and a new earth. The right hon. Gentleman said why hustle, why hurry; but the right hon. Gentleman's attitude was absolutely contrary to that adopted by hon. Members opposite generally. He would ask hon. Members to consider that the Estimates represented in the plainest and simplest form the amount of money required to keep the existing machinery running. It was admitted that the existing machinery was unsatisfactory, and that new machinery should be introduced, and a Committee of proved experience and assiduity had been appointed to recommend what that new machinery should be. In the meantime, it was necessary to provide money to keep the existing machinery running, and the amount asked for was the lowest possible that would suffice for that purpose.

MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)

said he was greatly surprised at the speech of the hon. Member, which had totally misrepresented the attitude of the Opposition with reference to the Report. He had not heard any word in condemnation of the fact of the Committee having been appointed and of their recommendations taken broadly. But it was a very different thing to condemn the way in which the Government had thrown that Report at their heads and taken steps of the most far-reaching importance without saying anything to the House as to the cost of the changes, or whether they related one to the other, or whether they were all part of a whole which was going to destroy the supposed existing system of Army Corps. He thought they were justified in feeling aggrieved, not at the Report of the Committee, but at the way in which the Government had treated the House of Commons in the matter. So far as the first part of the Report went, he thought it was a good one. He was glad to see the War Office taking earnest steps to carry it out; but he thought they ought to have taken the opinion of the House before they took irrevocable steps. Speaking not as a military man, but simply as a man of business, the first part of the Report seemed to him, for the first time, to set the fabric of the War Office on a businesslike basis. He should heartily support the carrying out of the framework of dividing the responsibility; preventing over-lapping, and making the various departments dovetail one with the other. Part II. of the Report contained a recommendation which seemed to him very dangerous indeed—he referred to the total abolition of the civilian financial control over the expenditure of the Army. About an hour ago the Secretary for War told them that he had actually made three appointments, which presupposed the approval of the recommendations of the Committee with regard to finance. If those recommendations were accepted as they stood they would be practically handing the money, without any effective control, to the military chiefs of the departments. It might be possible in the course of years to train a new kind of public servant who would be part soldier and part accountant; but in his limited experience he had never come across that kind of gentleman yet. As a rule, the best soldiers had no knowledge whatever of accounts; and the War Office accounts would be in a bad state if they were transferred from a civilian to a military department. The system might require mending but that was no reason for sweeping away what was admittedly a capable financial department.


A discussion on the financial arrangements of the War Office will not be in order.


said he understood that the attitude of the Government to wards the Report of the Reconstitution Committee had been the chief subject of discussion.


The question as to the likelihood of the Government adopting a new scheme was discussed, and that involved to a certain extent the question as to how far the Government were prepared to adopt the Report of the Committee. But the organisation of the Army generally is not open to discussion.


said he would accept Mr. Speaker's ruling. He would, however, enter a caveat against what had been said by the Financial Secretary to the War Office that they, on that side of the House, had taken an uncompromising attitude towards the Report of the Committee. That was not the case. They had taken up a discriminating attitude, and he ventured to express the hope that no irrevocable step would be taken until the House of Commons had an opportunity of discussing the financial Department of the War Office. In conclusion, he would only say that the number of men asked for would not be obtained during the current year. The

reduction of 5,000 men which had been moved, would bring the Vote more in accordance with what it ought to be, and he therefore would support it.

MR. MALCOLM (Suffolk, Stowmarket)

said that he associated himself with those who were heart and soul in favour of the Report; but what he wanted to know was the intention of the Government with regard to that Report. The Financial Secretary had asked what they wished the Government to do. They wished the Government to make up its mind as to what it intended to do on this vital point. He thanked the right hon. Gentleman for personal appreciation of the work the Army reformers had done in the previous year in the criticism of Army reform, but regretted that the right hon. Gentleman had not expressed that opinion when those criticisms were made, when It might have possibly resulted in further criticisms which it would be difficult now to appreciate. The Secretary of State pledge that on the earliest opportunity he would make a full statement on the Report.


said that his pledge related to Army reorganisation and not to the Committee's Report.


said he understood that the statement was to be made on the Report, but if it was made on the reorganisation of the Army that would be a good deal. He desired to impress most strongly on the right hon. Gentleman that the Government must not imagine, because these Estimates had been allowed to go through easily, that those who had pressed for economy and reorganisation were now less in earnest, than before, on this question of reform. There was a good deal of pressure both in and out of Parliament which could be brought to bear to assist the right hon. Gentleman in making this reform if, as he understood, there were internal difficulties which prevented the right hon. Gentleman carrying out his ideas.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 223; Noes, 110. (Division List No. 59.)

Aird, Sir John Anson, Sir William Reynell Arrol, Sir William
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Arkwright, John Stanhope Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John
Allsopp, Hon. George Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O. Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir H.
Bailey, James (Walworth) Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'mlets Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Bain, Colonel James Robert Gore, Hn. G. R.C. Ormsby-(Salop Newdegate, Francis A. N.
Baird, John G. Alexander Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.) Nicholson, William Graham
Balcarres, Lord Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J.(Manch'r) Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Pemberton, John S. G.
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Goulding, Edward Alfred Percy, Earl
Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W.(Leeds Graham, Henry Robert Pilkington, Colonel Richard
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.) Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury) Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Grenfell, William Henry Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor) Gretton, John Pretyman, Ernest George
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Greville, Hon. Ronald Pym, C. Guy
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Groves, James Grimble Randles, John S.
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Michael Hicks Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne
Buntinck, Lord Henry C. Hamilton Marq. of(L'nd'nderry Reid, James (Greenock)
Bhownagree, Sir M. M. Hardy, Laurence(Kent, Ashford Remnant, James Farquharson
Bignold, Arthur Hare, Thomas Leigh Ridley, Hon. M.W.(Stalybridge
Bigwood, James Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th) Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green
Blundell, Colonel Henry Harris, Dr. Fredk. R.(Dulwich) Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson
Bond, Edward Haslett, Sir James Horner Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Boulnois, Edmund Hay, Hon. Claude George Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Bousfield, William Robert Heath, James (Staffords, N. W.) Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Helder, Augustus Royds, Clement Molyneux
Brown, Sir Alex. H. (Shropsh.) Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Burdett-Coutts, W. Hickman, Sir Alfred Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford
Butcher, John George Hoare, Sir Samuel Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J.A.(Glasgow Hope, J.F.(Sheffield, Brightside Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Hoult, Joseph Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J.
Cautley, Henry Strother Houston, Robert Paterson Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Cavendish, V. G W.(Derbyshire) Howard, John(Kent, Faversh'm Seely, Maj. J. E.B.(Isle of Wight,
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham) Seton-Karr, Sir Henry
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Sharpe, William Edward T.
Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J.A.(Worc. Hudson, George Bickersteth Simeon, Sir Barrington
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Hunt, Rowland Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Chapman, Edward Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Sloan, Thomas Henry
Charrington, Spencer Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred. Spear, John Ward
Churchill, Winston Spencer Jessel, Captain Herbert Morton Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset)
Clare, Octavius Leigh Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord(Lancs.)
Clive, Captain Percy A. Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T.(Denbigh) Stewart, Sir Mark J. MTaggart
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop. Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.
Coghill, Douglas Harry Kerr, John Stock, James Henry
Colling, Rt. Hon. Jesse King, Sir Henry Seymour Stone, Sir Benjamin
Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Knowles, Lees Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Laurie, Lieut.-General Taylor, Austin (East Toxtetn
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Thorburn, Sir Walter
Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Thornton, Percy M.
Dalkeith, Earl of Lawson, John Grant(Yorks, N.R Tomlinson, Sir Win. Edw. M.
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Lee, Arthur H.(Hants., Fareham Tritton, Charles Ernest
Davenport, William Bromley Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Tuff, Charles
Denny, Colonel Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S. Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Dewar, Sir T. R.(Tower Hamlets) Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Tuke, Sir John Batty
Dickinson, Robert Edmond Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham Valentia, Viscount
Dickson, Charles Scott Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol, S.) Vincent, Col. Sir C.E.H(Sheffield
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Lonsdale, John Brownlee Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Lucas, Col. Francis(Lowestoft) Walker, Col. William Hall
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Macdona, John Gumming Warde, Colonel C. E.
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton MacIver, David (Liverpool) Welby, Sir Charles G.E.(Notts.)
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Maconochie, A. W. Whiteley, H.(Ashton und. Dyne
Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.) M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Faber, George Denison (York) M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire) Wilson, A. Stanley (York. E.R.)
Fardell, Sir T. George Malcolm, Ian Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Manc'r Martin, Richard Biddulph Wilson-Todd, Sir W.H.(Yorks.)
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Maxwell, Rt Hn. Sir H.E(Wigt'n Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E.R.(Bath)
Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Maxwell, W. J. H.(Dumfriessh. Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Fisher, William Hayes Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G. Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon Morpeth, Viscount Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Flannery, Sir Fortescue Morrell, George Herbert Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Flower, Sir Ernest Morrison, James Archibald
Foster, Henry William Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Fyler, John Arthur Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.
Gardner, Ernest Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham(Bute
Gordon, Hn. J.E.(Elgin&Nairn) Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.) Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Redmond, William (Clare)
Ashton. Thomas Gair Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Reid. Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries
Barran, Rowland Hirst Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.) Roche, John
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Russell, T. W.
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Horniman, Frederick John Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Beaumont, Went worth C. B. Jacoby, James Alfred Schwann, Charles E.
Brown, George M. (Edinburgh) Joicey, Sir James Shackleton, David James
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Jones, David Brynmor(Swansea Shaw, Thomas (Hawick, B.)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Kitson, Sir James Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Buxton, Sydney Charles Labouchere, Henry Shipman, Dr. John G
Caldwell, James Layland-Barratt, Francis Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton Leng, Sir John Slack, John Bamford
Causton, Richard Knight Lough, Thomas Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Cawley, Frederick Lundon, W. Soares, Ernest J.
Channing, Francis Allston MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Spencer, Rt Hn. C.R. Northants
Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Strachey, Sir Edward
Crean, Eugene M'Crae, George Sullivan, Donal
Cromble, John William M'Kean, John Tennant, Harold John
Dalziel, James Henry Markham, Arthur Basil Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr)
Davies, Sir Horatio D.(Chatham Moulton, John Fletcher Tomkinson, James
Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan Murnaghan, George Toulmin, George
Delany, William Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway, N.) Walton, John Lawson(Leeds, S.)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Norton, Capt. Cecil William Wason, John Cathcart(Orkney)
Emmott, Alfred Nussey, Thomas Willans Weir, James Galloway
Farquharson, Dr. Robert O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Fenwick, Charles O'Brien, Kendal(Tipperary, Mid Whiteley, George (York, W.R.)
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Ffrench, Peter O'Kelly, James(Roscommon, N. Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Freeman-Thomas, Captain F. O'Mara, James Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Fuller, J. M. F. O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Woodhouse, Sir J.T.(Huddersfd
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Parrott, William Young, Samuel
Goddard, Daniel Ford Partington, Oswald Yoxall, James Henry
Haldane, Rt Hon. Richard B. Paulton, James Mellor
Hammond, John Pirie, Duncan V. TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Harcourt Lewis V.(Rossendale) Price, Robert John Mr. Warner and Mr. Black.
Harmsworth, R. Leicester Priestley, Arthur
Hayden, John Patrick Reddy, M.

Motion made, and Question put, "That tins House doth agree with the committee in the said Resolution."

The House divided:—Ayes, 263; Noes, 59. (Division List No. 60.)

Aird, Sir John Bignold, Arthur Clive, Captain Percy A.
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Bigwood, James Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.
Allsopp, Hon. George Blundell, Colonel Henry Coghill, Douglas Harry
Anson, Sir William Reynell Bend, Edward Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse
Arkwright, John Stanhope Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O. Boulnois, Edmund Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole
Arrol, Sir William Bousfield, William Robert Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Brown, Sir Alex. H. (Shropsh.) Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)
Bailey, James (Walworth) Burdett-Coutts, W. Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile
Bain, Colonel James Robert Butcher, John George Dalkeith, Karl of
Baird, John (George Alexander Caldwell, James Dalrymple, Sir Charles
Balcarres, Lord Campbell, Rt. Hn. J.A.(Glasgow Dalziel, James Henry
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J.(Manch'r) Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Davenport, William Bromley
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Cautley, Henry Strother Davies, M. Vanghan-(Cardigan)
Balfour, Rt Hn. Gerald W.(Leeds Cavendish, V.C.W.(Derbyshire Denny, Colonel
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christen, Cawley, Frederick Dewar, Sir T.R.(Tower Hamlets
Banbury, Frederick George Cecil, Evelyn (Ashton Manor) Dickinson, Robert Edmond
Hartley, Sir George O. T. Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Dickson, Charles Scott
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J.A.(Worc. Dickson-Pounder, Sir John P.
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Mich. Hicks Chapman, Edward Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Charrington, Spencer Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Churchill, Winston Spencer Doxford, Sir William Theodore
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Clare, Octavius Leigh Darning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton King, Sir Henry Seymour Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Kitson, Sir James Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Emmott, Alfred Knowles, Sir Lees Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Faber, Edmund B. (Hants., W. Laurie, Lieut.-General Royds, Clement Molyneux
Faber, George Denison (York) Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Russell, T. W.
Fardell, Sir T. George Lawrence, Win. F. (Liverpool) Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Lawson, John Grant(Yorks, N. R Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford
Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Manc'r Layland-Barratt, Francis Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Long, Sir John Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J.
Fisher, William Hayes Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S, Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
Flannery, Sir Fortescue Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham Seety, Maj. J.E. B.(Isle of Wight)
Flower, Sir Ernest Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol, S.) Seton-Karr, Sir Henry
Forster, Henry William Lonsdale, John Brownlee Sharps, William Edward T.
Freeman-Thomas, Captain F. Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Simeon, Sir Barrington
Fyler John Arthur Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Sloan, Thomas Henry
Gardner, Ernest Macdona, John Cumming Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Gordon, Hn. J.H.(Elgin&Nairn) MacIver, David (Liverpool) Soares, Earnest J.
Gordon, Maj. E. (T'r Hamlets) Maconochie, A. W. Spear, John Ward
Gore, Hn. G. E.C. Ormsby-(Salop M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Stanley, Edward Jas. Somerset)
Gore, Hon. S.F. Ormsby-(Linc.) M'Crae, George Stanley Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.)
Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire) Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Malcolm, Ian Stirling-Maxwell Sir John M.
Goulding, Edward Alfred Markham, Arthur Basil Stock, James Henry
Graham, Henry Robert Martin, Richard Biddulph Stone, Sir Benjamin
Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury) Maxwell, W. J.H. (Dumfriesshire Strachey, Sir Edward
Grenfell, William Henry Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Gretton, John Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G. Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Greville, Hon. Ronald Molesworth, Sir Lewis Tennant, Harold John
Groves, James Grimble Morpeth Viscount Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr)
Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Morrell, George Herbert Thorburn, Sir Walter
Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Morrison, James Archibald Thornton, Percy M.
Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nder Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Tomlinson, Sir Win. Edw. M.
Hardy, L. (Kent, Ashford) Moulton, John Fletcher Tritton, Charles Ernest
Hare, Thomas Leigh Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Tuff, Charles
Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th Murray, Rt Hn. A. Graham(Bute Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Harris, Dr. Fredk. R.(Dulwich) Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Tuke, Sir John Batty
Haslett, Sir James Horner Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Valentia, Viscount
Hay, Hon. Claude George Nowdegate, Francis A. N. Vincent, Col. Sir C.E.H(Sheffield
Heath, James (Staffords., N.W. Nicholson, William Graham Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Helder, Augustus Nussey, Thomas Willans Walker, Col. William Hall
Hermon-Hodge Sir Robert T. Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Hickman, Sir Alfred Partington, Oswald Walton, John Lawson(Leeds, S.)
Hoare, Sir Samuel Paulton, James Mellor Warde, Colonel C. E.
Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.) Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Hope, J.F.(Sheffield,, Brightside Pemberton, John S. G. Welby, Sir Charles G.E.(Notts.)
Horniman, Frederick John Percy, Earl Whiteley, H.(Ashton und.Lyne
Hoult, Joseph Pilkington, Colonel Richard Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Houston, Robert Paterson Pirie, Duncan V. Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.)
Howard, Jn. (Kent, Faversham Platt-Higgins, Frederick Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Wilson-Todd, Sir W.H.(Yorks.)
Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil Pretyman, Ernest George Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R.(Bath)
Hudson, George Bickersteth Price, Robert John Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Hunt, Rowland Pym, C. Guy Woodhouse, Sir J T.(Huddersf'd
Jacoby, lames Alfred Randles, John S. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Jebb, Sir Hit-hard Claverhouse Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Jeffreys, lit. Hon. Arthur Fred. Rea, Russell Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Jessel, Captain Herbert Morton Reid James (Greenock) Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Remnant, James Farquharson Yoxall, James Henry
Joicey, Sir lames Ridley, Hon. M.W.(Stalybridge)
Kenyan, Hon. Geo. T.(Denbigh) Ridley, S. Forde(Bethnal Green) TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W.(Salop. Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.
Kerr, John Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.) Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)
Barran, Rowland Hirst Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Crean, Eugene
Barry, E. (Cork, S) Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)
Black, Alexander William Channing, Francis Allston Delany, William
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Norton Capt. Cecil William Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Fenwick Charles O'Brien, James F. N. (Cork) Slack, John Bamford
Ffrench, Peter O'Brien, Kendal(Tipperary Mid. Sullivan, Donal
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Tomkinson, James
Hammond, John O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.) Toulmin, George
Harcourt, Lewis V.(Rossendale) O'Kelly, James(Roscommon, N. Wason, Eugene(Clackmannan)
Hayden, John Patrick O'Mara, James Wason, John Cathcart(Orkney)
Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. O'Shaughnessy, P. J. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Parrott, William Whiteley, George (York, W.R.)
Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Priestley, Arthur Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Jones, David Brynmor(Swansea Reddy, M. Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Jones, William(Carnarvonshire Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Roche, John Young, Samuel
Lough, Thomas Shackleton, David James
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.) TELLERS OF THE NOES
Murnaghan, George Sheehan, Daniel, Daniel Mr. Labouchere and Sir
Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Shipman, Dr. John G. Thomas Esmonde.